What’s going on in suit technology?
Did you know that the three-piece suit we see men wearing today began in the early 1800s? It was a gentleman called Beau Brummell who brought the style into fashion. Before the suit, men were wearing long-tailed coats paired with silk stocking. But, when he came along, he introduced the classic suit jacket and full-length trousers. Back then though, men weren’t faced with modern day challenges such as the daily commute and suits have had to advance to keep up with the times. Read on as we explore what the future looks like for tailoring.
Evolution of the suit so far
Researchers and developers have been working hard to advance materials and suit technology. One of the things they’ve been working on is temperature adjusting materials. But how does this work? It’s all about controlling the body temperature of the wearer. In the US, researchers developed materials that were able to change how much radiation escaped from the shirt and air circulation levels. Certainly, heat controlling technology is not a brand-new innovation, but it’s in recent years when it’s been a part of our day-to-day clothing. For owners of these new materials, comfort levels can be increased and it’s possible that the environment could benefit too. This is because we may be reliant on our clothes to keep us warm or cool, and not use as much air-conditioning!
Another innovation that has been well-explored, and is now available to purchase, is non-iron shirts. These allow for extra time in bed as the shirt can be worn straight out of the dryer with no creases. And, how does it work? It involves a process within the shirt material that strengthens the fabric and stops the molecules from moving around as much. Brought together, these two things increase the shirt’s resistance to creasing.
Wearing a suit can feel constricted, so it’s important that the material is as comfortable as possible. Enter mechanical stretch technology! This innovation is able to improve the flexibility of the suit’s material. In some cases, this is done by adding a small level of elastane within the material, this can enhance the comfort of the garment and make it more wearable!
You’ve probably noticed a rise in wearable gadgets, and development in this area is not over! We’re already privileged to be able to make contactless payments through a smart device, but it could go further. In fact, card company, MasterCard teamed up with fashion designer Adam Selman to further investigate contactless payment. They looked at inserting a microchip into fabric — potentially into a cuff of a sleeve or bag strap. It’s possible that developments like this could change our tailoring techniques — could we see our cufflinks being payment devices in the near future?
Another innovation here to shake up the fashion industry is colour-changing fabrics. One way this is done is through adding tiny crystals to the fabric, they react differently to various wavelengths of light. In fact, the crystal’s formation changes depending on the light exposure and this changes how we view the colour as humans. In Montreal, other research is determining how electricity from a wearers movement could power electric-powered material and change its colours. Right now, these developments are far from the high street, but it mightn’t be long before they’re widely available.
If you’ve bought a full suit recently, you would’ve noticed that it’s pricey! It therefore becomes something that you don’t want to get damaged. That’s where the latest technology comes in that prevents material damage through self-healing fabric. The process involves coating material in a specific solution that is able to melt back together if it becomes broken. Other areas of research have found that E.coli bacteria has its own self-healing properties and could be used in the fabric industry.
It’s clear for us to see that our wardrobes have changed drastically since our first suit. The developments in process are aiming to make our lives easier, more interesting and suitable for our digital day-to-day tasks.